We sought to determine whether non–clinical trial patients adhere to active surveillance (AS) protocols and to discover how many were lost to follow-up (LTFU) at 2 institutions in California. Patients on AS from lower socioeconomic status strata were more often LTFU, and LTFU was significantly different between the 2 institutions. Multivariable analysis revealed that the main determinant of LTFU was socioeconomic status.Introduction:
Active surveillance (AS) is one recommended option for low-risk prostate cancer and involves close follow-up and monitoring. Our objective was to determine whether non–clinical trial patients adhere to AS protocols and how many are lost to follow-up (LTFU).Patients and Methods:
Retrospective chart review was performed for patients with nonmetastatic prostate cancer who initiated AS at Los Angeles County Hospital (LAC) and University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center (Norris) between January 1, 2008, and January 1, 2015. Competing-risks regression analyses examined the difference in LTFU rates of AS patients in the 2 institutions and examined the association between LTFU and patient characteristics. We used California Cancer Registry data to verify if patients LTFU were monitored and/or treated at other LAC medical facilities.Results:
We found 116 patients at LAC and 98 at Norris who met the AS criteria for this study. Patients at LAC and Norris had similar tumor characteristics but differed in median income, race, primary language spoken, distance residing from hospital, and socioeconomic status (SES). LTFU was significantly different between the institutions: 57 ± 7% at LAC and 32 ± 6% at Norris at 5 years (P < .001). By multivariable analysis, the main determinant of LTFU was SES (P = .045). By 5 years, the chance of an LAC patient remaining on AS was 8 ± 6% compared to 20 ± 6% for a Norris patient (P < .001).Conclusion:
Successful AS implementation relies on patient follow-up. We found that patients on AS from lower SES strata are more often LTFU. Identifying barriers to follow-up and compliance among low SES patients is critical to ensure optimal AS.